The (Teaching) Role of Universities in the Diffusion of the Internet

35 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2006

See all articles by Avi Goldfarb

Avi Goldfarb

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management


This paper provides evidence that students in the mid-1990s learned to use the Internet at university and then continued use after graduation, highlighting a micro-level role for institutions in diffusion. In particular, it shows that university attendance in the mid-1990s had a larger effect on Internet use (especially email) than did university attendance in other periods. It also shows that people who live with students from the mid-1990s are more likely to be Internet users. These effects are largest for low income households. They do not, however, hold for the use of other technologies such as word processing.

Keywords: Internet, diffusion, universities

JEL Classification: L86, O33

Suggested Citation

Goldfarb, Avi, The (Teaching) Role of Universities in the Diffusion of the Internet. International Journal of Industrial Organization, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Avi Goldfarb (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
416-946-8604 (Phone)
416-978-5433 (Fax)

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